Activision Blizzard's FY forecasts get a lift from 'Overwatch'

FILE PHOTO: The Activision booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 13, 2017. REUTERS/ Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - Activision Blizzard Inc raised its full-year adjusted revenue and profit forecasts for the second time on Thursday, as the videogame publisher benefits from higher digital sales and the popularity of its multi-player futuristic game "Overwatch". The company raised its full-year adjusted profit to $2 per share from $1.88 per share and its adjusted revenue forecast to $6.58 billion from $6.33 billion. Analysts on average were expecting a profit of $2.02 per share and revenue of $6.54 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Activision also forecast current-quarter adjusted revenue of $1.70 billion, above analysts' average estimate of $1.65 billion. The company expects to release its highly-anticipated "Destiny 2" on Sept. 6 for consoles. Activision said on Thursday pre-orders for "Destiny 2" are now above the 2014 game. Activision's results cap a strong quarter for videogame makers including rivals Electronic Arts and Take Two Interactive, despite not launching a major game in the period. Activision said on Thursday it delivered nearly $1 billion of in-game revenues in the quarter. The company's net income rose to $243 million, or 32 cents per share, in the second-quarter ended June 30 from $151 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue from the company's high-margin digital business rose 14.7 percent to $1.31 billion, underscoring the shift among players to buy and download games online. Activision's total adjusted revenue fell 11.9 percent to $1.42 billion, from $1.61 billion a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $1.23 billion. In the year-earlier period, the company benefited from the launch of "Overwatch" in May 2016, as well as its acquisition of "Candy Crush" maker King Digital for nearly $6 billion. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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